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Alpine Unification and the Grossmont District School Board Elections

Alpine Unification and the Grossmont District School Board Elections

From Dick Hoy - Vice President, Grossmont Union High School board of Trustees

The primary responsibility of school board trustees is to ensure a quality education for all students in their district.  In order to meet that goal they must see to the fiscal wellbeing of the district’s annual operating budget as well as the proper utilization of bond funds.  Unfortunately the current election and the potential unification of Alpine threaten the financial stability of the Grossmont district as well as the quality of education for all its students.

Bond Proposition U, passed in 2008, called for the building an 800 student high school in Alpine contingent upon the enrollment at the 9 comprehensive and 2 charter high schools being at the 2008 level when bids were let for the actual construction of the high school.   Between 2008-11, the purchase of a site was completed, permits were obtained, and school designs were prepared.  During that time enrollment was at or above the trigger number, but starting in 2012 declining enrollment hit the district hard.  Since construction bids had not been issued yet, the school was put on hold per the bond language.  Currently the district is over 2,000 students below the 2008 level.  Do you build a new high school when you have lost the equivalent of a high school?

The Alpine Union School District is also declining in enrollment at an alarming rate.  Today, Alpine can barely financially support its existing elementary schools. Its district finances are in shambles. This year’s fix is to reduce staff pay, decrease benefits, and shorten the school year for students. Only 6 months ago, Alpine experienced the first San Diego County teacher strike in 18 years. Can Alpine be trusted to build and staff a high school and meet increased operating expenses?

Education Code 35560 provides that a new Alpine Unified School District would be entitled the land purchased for the school, worth about $23 million, and less than $6 million in cash.  The proponents of Alpine unification, however, want the Grossmont district to handover the land and $70 million in cash so that they can build a high school.  They claim that, unless they get the entire amount, unification will be futile.  Where would that amount come from?  If it came from the yearly operating budget, the Grossmont District would go bankrupt.  If it came from bond funds it would not only circumvent Grossmont District voter approved bond language requiring a minimum enrollment, but would be far more money than was ever discussed for building the Alpine school during the 8 years that I have been on the board.  A third option, a combination of general funds and bond funds just compounds the problem for the 95% of the students who would remain in the Grossmont District.

What makes the unification proposal even worse is that its supporters want the unification election to include only Alpine residents.  The taxpayers of the entire district will be affected by unification.  Millions of dollars could be transferred to a new Alpine district and taxpayers throughout the Grossmont district will be on the hook for the bond payback for many years to come.  Shouldn’t all the district voters be given the right to vote on unification?  I certainly believe so.

Now we come to the current board elections.

Two candidates are siding with Alpine unification proponents and their effort to get some $70 million from district taxpayers while disenfranchising 95% of the voters.

Three candidates, Rob Shield, Jim Kelly, and Gary Woods want to protect the best interests of the Grossmont District and the 95% of the voters who reside outside of Alpine.  They want all district voters to weigh in on unification.  They care about the education of all students.  They want to protect Grossmont, Valhalla, El Cajon Valley, Helix, West Hills, El Capitan,  Santana, Steele Canyon, Granite Hills, Monte Vista and Mount Miguel high schools from the financial disruption that a unification settlement beyond that provided in the Ed. Code would cause.  I believe the choice is clear!  Shield, Kelly, and Woods for the Grossmont Union High School Board of Trustees.

Campaign 2014: Phone Banking Update

Hello GEA Members,

See your GEA Rep to sign up for phone banking next week – It is our last full week of phone banking. Phone banking dates that remain are 10-27, 10-28, 10-29, 10-30, 11-1, 11-3.

Please THANK the following GEA members who have already phone banked for Gary Woods and Rob Shield! Tell them you appreciate their work on your behalf.

01 - Grossmont:

Mercedes Joyce
Anna Jacobs
Daemein Patterson
Gwenne Pagarigan
Coleen Topper
Holly Jones
Carmelina Pantoja
Heidi Schultz
Karen Manns
Hillary Park
Brian Manns
Jennifer Raymond
Laura Dawson
Marta Jiacoletti
Gwenne Pagarigan
Julianna Manuel
Eileen Mandell
Azita Mahmoudi

03 ECVHS:

Branden Namimatsu
Jim McLaughlin
Brad Sheffer
Ryan Trammell
Jessica Merschtina
Luke Fitztgerald
Teresa Wilkerson
Elizabeth De Mars
Linda Riddle
Ellen Parry
Vicki St. John
Stephanie Reed
Shannon Turner

04 - Mount Miguel:

Robert Raymond
James McFarland
Chris Nelson
Christine Whitney
Mark Jeffers
Nathan Samuels
Luis Castro
Mick McMurray
Sonia Gahlhoff
Stella Buhlman-Sardo
Grant Martin

05 El Capitan:

Jivan Rhodehamel
Jesse Huttenbrauck
Judy Jacobs-McKee
Eloise Tronto
Jay Tweet
Kelly Logan
Karl Franz
Dustin Millsap
Stephanie Grabiel
Natasha Arevalo

06 – Granite Hills:

Lisa Drake
Lynn Kraszewski
Melinda Parga
Xeng Yang
Rachel McCurry
Serita Collet
Angela Scott
Gerald Lopez
James Messina
Fran Zumwalt
Tom Smith
Theresa Ward
Kim Dorroh
Mike Petrivelli
Julie Schorr
Jerri Jordan
Chris Villalobos
Debbie Burton

07 - Monte Vista:

Brittany Wood
Tracy Leota
Paula Delgado
Leisa Petrie

08 - Santana:

Cleophus Harris
Michelle Winslow
Rebecca Short
Amber Erpelding
Carolyn Teschler
Jennifer Phelan
Karri Thompson
Angela Sciacqua-Smith
Marla West
Jason Kay
Emily Snipes
Mark Noble
Lucas Reilly
Luke Phillips
Doug Coffin

09 - Valhalla:

Harun Hutchinson
Diana Aguayo
Laura Izbicki
Jackie Naah
Marilee Gillen
Lynne Barnes
Tom Pew
Stephanie Sellers
Jon Owens
Jim Cipriano
Veronica Romero
Gavin Preston

At the end of each week of phone banking – GEA selects names from a hat for a special "THANK YOU FOR PHONE BANKING" raffle – for two members per week who receive two movie tickets, and for one member per week who receives a Brigantine $50 Gift card.

Here are our THANK YOU recipients so far:

Ryan Trammell – ECVHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Linda Riddle – ECVHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Jay Tweet – ECHS –2 Movie Tickets
Serita Collet – GHHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Gerald Lopez – GHHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Gwynn Pagarigan – Grossmont -- $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Mark Jeffers – MMHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Carolyn Teschler – Santana – 2 Movie Tickets
Harun Hutchinson – Valhalla – 2 Movie Tickets
Elizabeth DeMars – ECVHS - 2 Movie Tickets
Stephanie Reed --  ECVHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Shannon Turner -- ECVHS - 2 Movie Tickets

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS VOLUNTEERED AND TALKED TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS SO FAR! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

Impact of an Alpine Injuncti

Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 1Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 2Impact of Alpine Injunction  Page 3

San Diego County - Local Chapter Endorsements

San Diego County 2014 Endorsed School Board Candidates Oct 20 14 sb2 Page 1San Diego County 2014 Endorsed School Board Candidates Oct 20 14 sb2 Page 2

Bargaining Update: October 13, 2014

Bargaining Update

October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Bargaining Update

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith, Laura Bowen (CTA)

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballarin

GEA met with district representatives from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

1. Benefits

  • GEA and the district went over the minor changes in wording to the Aetna plans.

2. EL Coordinator

  • The district brought historical information on EL stipends and release periods.
  • GEA asked about current numbers of EL students per site.

3. IC Teacher Coaches

  • The district is looking at changes to the support system for Infinite Campus, will have an idea what the plan is on Oct 21.

4. Substitutes

  • Many teachers were asked to cover classes on their prep period on Friday, September 26.
  • Some teachers were paid to cover classes before having covered three classes without pay as set forth in the contract, and payroll refused to honor the time sheets.
  • The district will look into this and rectify the situation.

5. Counselors

  • The district still needs to look into the issue of paying counselors for packing and unpacking.
  • There will be clerical support to check the transcripts in Infinite Campus.
  • Counselor Ratios were discussed and the 500/1 maximum student/counselor ratio.

 

President's Message: Election Update

Hello GEA Members,

It has come to the GEA Leadership’s attention that a campaign has been activated to challenge GEA’s endorsed candidates for the Grossmont School Board -- to prevent their election/re-election.

A lawsuit has been filed by Pro-Alpine High School candidates for the Grossmont Board – which if it works - calls for all Prop U and H bond projects to stop, whether completed or not. The lawsuit expects that a High School will be built in Alpine with the funds saved.

This lawsuit was timed to impact the election for the Grossmont District School Board just as it gets underway. The election for our Grossmont Board will be held on November 4, 2014, as you well know.

You can help our candidates in the following ways:

    1. Sign up for phone banking with your GEA Reps on your campus.  If everyone phone banks for 2 hours, we will reach close to 60,000 voters, and that could make the difference on the election. When people are asked whom to they listen to for advice on school board elections, 70 percent say they listen to teachers. We have three weeks left for phone banking – Sign up, please!
    2. Make a sign or stand next to a sign for Gary Woods and Rob Shield – take a selfie with the sign, and post it on the GEA.Action Facebook page. Then like it and share it on your Facebook page.  In the Comment section – say “I support Gary Woods and Rob Shield for the Grossmont School Board.” Or “Please vote for Gary Woods and Rob Shield for the Grossmont School Board! – I am!”
    3. Call your family and friends who live in the Grossmont District, and ask them to vote for Gray Woods and Rob Shield.

Please the following GEA members who have already phone banked for Gary Woods and Rob Shield! Tell them you appreciate their work on your behalf.

ECVHS:

Branden Namimatsu
Jim McLaughlin
Brad Sheffer
Ryan Trammell
Jessica Merschtina
Luke Fitztgerald
Teresa Wilkerson
Elizabeth De Mars
Linda Riddle
Ellen Parry
Vicki St. John

El Capitan:

Jivan Rhodehamel
Jesse Huttenbrauck
Judy Jacobs-McKee
Eloise Tronto
Jivan Rhodehamel
Jay Tweet
Kelly Logan
Karl Franz
Dustin Millsap
Jay Tweet
Jesse Huttenbrauck
Stephanie Grabiel

GHHS:

Lisa Drake
Lynn Kraszewski
Melinda Parga
Xeng Yang
Rachel McCurry
Serita Collet
Angela Scott
Gerald Lopez
James Messina
Fran Zumwalt

Grossmont:

Mercedes Joyce
Anna Jacobs
Daemein Patterson
Gwenne Pagarigan
Coleen Topper
Holly Jones
Carmelina Pantoja
Heidi Schultz
Karen Manns
Hillary Park
Brian Manns
Jennifer Raymond

Monte Vista:

Brittany Wood
Tracy Leota

Mount Miguel:

Robert Raymond
James McFarland
Chris Nelson
Christine Whitney
Mark Jeffers
Nathan Samuels
Luis Castro
Mick McMurray

Santana:

Cleophus Harris
Michelle Winslow
Rebecca Short
Amber Erpelding
Carolyn Teschler
Jennifer Phelan
Karri Thompson
Angela Sciacqua-Smith
Marla West
Jason Kay
Emily Snipes

Valhalla:

Harun Hutchinson
Diana Aguayo
Laura Izbicki
Jackie Naah
Marilee Gillen
Lynne Barnes
Veronica Romero

At the end of each week of phone banking – GEA selects names from a hat for a THANK YOU FOR PHONE BANKING raffle – for two members per week who receive two movie tickets, and for one member per week who receives a Brigantine $50 Gift card.

Here are our THANK YOU recipients so far:

Ryan Trammell – ECVHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Linda Riddle – ECVHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Jay Tweet – ECHS –2 Movie Tickets
Serita Collet – GHHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Gerald Lopez – GHHS – 2 Movie Tickets
Gwynn Pagarigan – Grossmont -- $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Mark Jeffers – MMHS – $50 Brigantine Gift Card
Carolyn Teschler – Santana – 2 Movie Tickets
Harun Hutchinson – Valhalla – 2 Movie Tickets

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS VOLUNTEERED AND TALKED TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS SO FAR! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President

Bargaining Update: October 8, 2014

 

Bargaining Update

October 8, 2014

 

GEA Team: Linda Pierce (Bargaining Chair), Fran Zumwalt (GEA President), Bryan Ross, Doug Coffin, James Messina, Jay Tweet, Angela Sciacqua-Smith

District Team: Steve Sonnich (Assoc Supt, HR), Tim Schwuchow, John Rajcic, Robin Ballerin, Rick Roberts

GEA met with district representatives from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

1. Class Size
    • GEA discussed classes above the cap with the district.
    • The district asked for exceptions for an auto class at GHS, weight training classes with a second supervisor, and a couple of others.

2. Infinite Campus
    • GEA shared many of the issues that counselors and teachers are having with Infinite Campus, and asked what issues the district is working on and in what priority.

3. Benefits
    • The district claims to have no money to add to benefits due to a lack of layoffs last year and increased energy costs.

4. 6/5ths
    • The district provided a list of the teachers receiving 6/5ths.

5. GATE/AP Coordinators
    • The district provided information on the compensation for GATE/AP Coordinators. GEA was supposed to get information on EL coordinators too, but that information was not available. These stipends are not in the contract and should be.

6. Counselors
    • Valhalla currently has 502.857 students/counselor. GEA argued that this is a violation of the contract, the district responded that the 500 number in the contract refers to a district-wide average. GEA stated the contract established a district wide average of 455 students and a maximum of 500. The district's position contradicts the contract language. GEA will grieve this.
    • The district is still looking into the issue of paying counselors for packing and unpacking.

 

 

President's Message

GEA's Endorsed Candidates' Election Update

More than 100 GEA members have made thousands of phone calls encouraging voters to elect GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD to the Grossmont School Board!

Over the next 21 days, even more GEA volunteers will do the same. Ask your GEA School Site Rep how you can help with phone calls in support of GARY WOODS and ROB SHIELD!

Also – Use your social media to help! Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Get some GEA members together, create a sign showing your support for Gary Woods and Rob Shield and snap a quick picture. Then post it on GEA's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gea.action
  • You can also share the message by posting your snap shot on your facebook cover image
  • Share the GEA Action Facebook page by posting it on your Facebook timeline.

Sample Facebook posts:

I stand with GEA members in support of the election of Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board.

GEA has my support in electing Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont School Board. It impacts students, educators, and parents alike.

Join me and my colleagues in the Grossmont District. Elect Gary Woods and Rob Shield to the Grossmont District School Board!

In solidarity,

Fran Zumwalt
GEA President